There is no real manual to answer all of your questions in the world of aftermarket modifications.
You might hear someone talk about how they made their ride louder with the installation of a sculpture. Before you get jealous, let’s talk about what is actually happening.
The stock exhaust manifolds do not make your car louder as compared to the car heads.
This aftermarket addition is used to improve the performance of your car and give you a cleaner sounding exhaust.
The volume of the exhaust isn’t going to change. If you want to make your car louder, there are other ways to do it, but installing headers is not one of them.
Do your car’s engines make your car louder? In this piece, I will explore this idea and a lot more. We need to get started.
What is a Header?
The aftermarket part you can put on your car is called a headers. Your stock Honda Civic won’t come with one that is installed.
The piece that fits into your exhaust system is called the headers.
The Exhaust System
One end connects to your engine’s cylinders and the other connects to the exhaust pipe.
The tailpipe sticks out of the rear of your car after that pipe feeds into the catalytic converter, the resonator, the muffler and the tailpipe. You have an exhaust system.
If you look at your car’s exhaust system, you’ll see that it doesn’t have headers at the cylinder head. Why?
The Role of a Header
The same role is played by both the exhaust manifolds and the headers. The manifolds that are already installed in your car will be replaced with the headers.
Take the hot gas that gets generated from your engine’s cylinders, combining them into a single flow, and then getting rid of them, is the role of both of these pieces.
There is a reminder that your engine can have as many cylinders as you want. Only a few exhaust pipes are visible from the rear of your vehicle.
This can be traced back to your manifolds or headers. manifolds are easier to make and a lot cheaper than headers in a stock car, which is the reason you see them instead.
The corner can be cut without a major problem and that’s why the manufacturers do it that way.
Difference Between a Manifold and Header
So what do you do when you replace one part with another? There are a few big issues with your car that have a stock manifold on it.
The material composition is the most important. The cast iron used for the manifolds will be heavy and clunky.
It is a big win in the manufacturer’s book because it is cheap and gets the job done. It’s a good idea to use a similar material for headers.
Since it doesn’t have to be as heavy as the cast iron, it’s stronger, more resistant, and lighter.
The length of each run changes the sound and performance of your car. A manifold wants to combine the cylinders’ gas exhaust as soon as possible.
There are four different run lengths for the shared tube in a manifold. This is a problem with physics.
Since the runs are different, the gasses travel differently from run to run. Back Pressure is created when the gas fails to combine to a central piece.
This is the time when high pressure builds up. It doesn’t leave room for the oxygen that the fuel needs and causes the gas to travel slower.
It hurts your performance, in the end. The gas running through them is designed to be smooth.
Every length is the same run, so you can improve your car’s performance. You may be able to find a boost in your car’s power.
Finally the thickness of the pieces is different. I mentioned it earlier, but cast iron pieces need to be a lot thicker in order to achieve the same thing that stainless steel does.
The Cast iron manifolds are much heavier than the Stainless steel ones. Since the inside diameter of the tube is larger, the gas has an easier path to travel.
We Didn’t Talk About Sound Yet
I didn’t say the word “sound” yet because I didn’t think it was loud enough. Don’t be worried, I’m getting there.
I had to explain to you what was happening underneath the hood before I could answer your question. Do you know where that “car sound” is coming from?
Where Does That Sound Come From?
I am the first to admit that I like to hear a car revved up as they drive by my house. It makes me very happy. The car sound that we all know and love is a whisper of explosions.
It seems to make it even cooler. Your engine is taking fuel and air, sparking it, exploding it, and harvesting the power to make your car move.
On the 4th of July, there are little explosions that sound like fireworks.
The sound waves move with the gas. Part of the exhaust system described earlier means it goes through the resonator and out of the muffler.
Did you know that the decision-makers at your favorite car manufacturer don’t like the sound of the car?
The only job of a muffler and resonator is to reduce the sound. The general public would prefer a quiet ride.
Do Headers Make Your Car Louder?
Does a header make the car louder? No. The overall sound will get a little better, but it won’t make it any louder.
If you compare the sound of a revved car with a manifold, you will probably see a difference in the tone. The sound is higher pitched and smooth with headers.
The exhaust makes it stink and deeper. The volume will not be different.
I’ll tell you what makes your car louder before you call it quits. I will not leave you high and dry, but I will break your heart.
Ways to Make Your Car Louder
Resonator Exhaust Tips
Resonance frequency is a thing in physics. The idea is that a sound wave can vibrate in a certain way.
A louder noise is created from the same amount of exhaust when the sound waves coming from your engine pass through the resonator exhaust tip.
For less than 50 bucks you can get one of these tips that attach to your standard exhaust tail. They look cool, sound great, install quickly, and they are legal in all 50 states.
It is noticeable that the sound difference is not enormous. It makes your exhaust more aggressive by making it deeper and more aggressive.
The best way to make a car louder is through a performance muffler. Whatever labor goes into it might cost around $100.
If you want the installation done by an auto mechanic, it is a good idea.
A performance muffler removes all of the added obstacles inside of a muffler that dulls and reduces the sound.
This process reduces the backpressure a bit, but it also creates a really rich and powerful noise.
Be sure to check your local laws before you sign up for one of these. There are some limits on the amount of noise that can be heard from state to state.
Delete the Muffler
If your state does not ban it, you can get rid of the muffler. This is when you take the muffler out and replace it with a straight piece of pipe, just like the name suggests.
This will allow you to remove a piece of noise dampening that is blocking the overall volume of the car.
You can do this project on your own if you know how to work with metal. It is straightforward and results are night and day.
Drill Your Exhaust
If you want a louder car and don’t care how loud it is, you can drill a few holes. I do not suggest this modification but it definitely works.
The gas will escape and make a louder noise if you make some holes before the muffler.
A lot of the sound waves will go through the muffler, but this adds a secondary tone that sounds a lot cooler.
If you are going to drill a hole, make sure it is after the catalytic converters. Toxic fumes will be released through the holes when it’s done before the cat.
It’s a good idea to drill around 5 holes with a bit in your drill. If you want to go back to the pre-drilled exhaust system, it could be very expensive and time consuming.
Cold Air Intake
You will get great results with a cold air intake if you have a few hundred dollars. Science says cold air has more oxygen in it. There are explosions going in your engine.
The louder the explosions, the more oxygen is needed. You can get a louder and deeper reaction with more powerful combustion.
This goes out of your tailpipe and into your exhaust. The sound is really nice and it can boost your engine power by a few dozen.
It takes a lot of expertise and time to install this inside your engine bay. It works really well.
It won’t make your car sound louder if you install headers.
It will change the sound of your exhaust and improve your performance, but it won’t change the volume of your exhaust. There are a few things you can do to improve your car’s volume.
Truck driver by profession, automotive lover by heart. Ricky is the main publisher and editor at Truckile.com sharing his life-long knowledge and experience in the auto industry and truck driving!